Ryan Mills
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Ryan Mills

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Aug
22
Ryan Mills @ The Boat

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Ontario's Kover (ex-Blue Skies at War) have been a band in receipt of a lot of good vibes over the past year or so. With a traditional hard-worn punk rock sound in the vein of Leatherface and early (and perhaps a bit gruffer) Samiam, these guys deliver plenty of energy and sharp musicianship. Although Assembly is the band's first formal full-length, the most striking thing about Kover is that they sound like a seasoned group of veterans who have been writing and playing together for years and years. Kover stay within a comfortable range of mid-to-fast tempos and allow the stellar guitar playing to do most of the leading.

With an almost uncanny straightforwardness, each song on Assembly delivers one hook after another. "Asphalt and Stone" derives a kind of speedy pleasure directly from the title of the track -- this song is made for cruising along the open road as tall buildings and neon lights streak by. "Extinguisher" takes a different path, slowing itself down until the song becomes a mere series of stop-and-stop guitar chugs, seemingly falling into a pile of splinters, while the following, "It Girl," despite the lame title, winds the crank up again with a soaring, sticking chorus and dramatic, bass-heavy rhythmic bridge. Kover doesn't overstay its welcome on this 12-song release, with the whole thing clocking in around 35 minutes. Assembly is long enough for it to burrow deep into your brain, but short enough to make it an easy candidate for the "repeat button." - Punknews.org



Kover’s Assembly is one of the most exciting independent releases of 2007. Though it’s the first official full release for the band, it’s a follow up record to the 2004 self-recorded, self-released five-song CD by guitarist and ex-Blue Skies at War member Ryan Mills. From the GTA of Southern Ontario, Kover blends dark, tuned down and brooding guitars with intense melodies, detailed and incredible guitar work, and anthemic choruses. It’s a musical hybrid of Thin Lizzy and Hot Water Music, among other amazing influences, including favourite 90s throwback bands, like Farside. This is a truly unique record in a hard rock genre overflowing with Nicklebacks and Nickleback wannabes. This record is really musical, the song writing thoughtful, the guitars pretty; and music like this never gets tired. - ICare Media


Discography

2007 Demos
2006 Kover (Full Band) - "Assembly"
2004 Kover (Solo) - "Self-titled"
2002 Blue Skies at War - "You Pour the Gasoline, I'll light the match"
2001 Blue Skies at War - "The Forever EP"

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Bio

With his raw vocal delivery and uncensored view of the world, Ryan Mills’ music touches nerves and breathes humanity. Ryan conquers the challenge many writers take when openly shedding a tear, unknotting the stomach, or chocking on a lump in his/her throat.

It can be a hit or miss equation for a songwriter delivering naked emotion to the listener without portraying pretension or melodrama. He achieves this with deeply moving songs and elegantly put stories taken from his own experiences without laying the sap or sugar too thick. The combination of beautiful melodies and minor chords create a melancholy tone to his music. Whether stripped down to a single vocal and hollow guitar or an orchestrated piece with full-band accompaniment, Ryan's sincerity remains intact as he keeps the focus on the song, not himself. He gives us a refreshing listen in an over-saturated field of singer/songwriters bent on both folk and punk music. Admittedly, he is...but sometimes surprisingly isn't just that. Have a listen to "Deepest Blue" and you'll hear him for what he is. Ryan is a talented songwriter with an heir of world weary wisdom under his wings.

Heavily influenced by the early 90s punk sound with it’s picked out chords and creative patterns, Ryan formed a trio and began hitting the stage. Bands like Hot Water Music, Seaweed, Split Lip, Samiam and Farside were among these influences. “Just Beyond Reach” had a handful of great shows with great response.

Eventually adding two more and replacing one, the now five piece band became Blue Skies At War. BSAW had some minor success before disbanding. BSAW released a couple music videos and one album entitled "You Pour the Gasoline, I'll light the Match” which was a great description of the band itself. The same old story, booze, drugs, girls, musical differences, ignorance and arrogance combined with relentless tours and the stain of bad luck resulted in the demise of the band.

As the end grew near for BSAW, Ryan hit the studio to record and release a solo effort, later giving birth to the band Kover. Compared as the Foo Fighters meet Hot Water Music, meets Thin Lizzy, Kover now a full band began tearing up shows with their driving, low tuned sound. Kover released 'Assembly' in 2006 on Engineer Records. Blessed by some great reviews and press, the word of Kover still spreads in underground punk circles from Japan, UK, USA, Canada and Europe.

Mills didn't hesitate to launch a career apart from the band. Now with time and a few albums and tours under his belt a much anticipated solo release is in the works. The plan for a solo tour in Europe is underway. Ryan also lends himself to "Hours and Hours: a tribute to Seaweed". Sharing the experience will be The Draft, Favez, The Fire Still Burns among many other great bands. The tribute is set to release Spring 2008 on Engineer Records. Ryan's voice will also appear on "The Boat: a Tribute to Leatherface". The track “Wax Lyrical” was recorded with Kover and the tribute is due out winter 2007.